EASTON

Man charged in hit-and-run with horse-drawn buggy

Police have charged a University of Maine student in a hit-and-run collision involving a car and a horse-drawn buggy in northern Maine.

Troopers said Tuesday that they charged 20-year-old Brandon Clark of Fort Fairfield with leaving the scene of an accident, driving to endanger, failure to maintain control and failure to use caution when passing an animal.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said Clark’s car struck the southbound buggy on U.S. Route 1A in Easton on Monday afternoon. The buggy was pushed to the side of the road and destroyed.

A 16-year-old boy operating the buggy was thrown off of it, but neither he nor the horse was injured.

The teen is a member of the small Amish community in Easton, which abuts the Canadian border.

LEBANON

Two teenagers hospitalized after two separate crashes

Two accidents late Monday in Lebanon sent two teenagers to the hospital.

The first crash was reported about 7:30 p.m. A vehicle had gone off the road and landed in a swamp off Route 11/202. The driver, a 17-year-old boy from Acton, was standing on the roof when police arrived.

The teenager told police that he probably fell asleep.

Not long after rescue crews left that crash, an accident was reported on Lower Guinea Road. A vehicle had rolled over and two people were trapped inside.

The driver and passenger, both 16-year-old girls from Lebanon, were taken by ambulance to Frisbie Memorial Hospital in nearby Rochester, N.H. Their injuries were serious but not life-threatening, Cole said.

AUGUSTA

Ex-treasurer of booster club pleads not guilty to stealing

A former treasurer of a wrestling booster club pleaded not guilty Tuesday to stealing thousands of dollars from the Winslow group.

Wendi Willette, 41, of Winslow, who was accused of stealing between $10,000 and $30,000, entered the not guilty plea and applied for a court-appointed defense attorney in Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta, according to Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Maloney said attorneys will hold a status conference to discuss the charges on Dec. 10.

In early October, Willette was charged with felony theft after a month-long investigation that was begun when members of the Winslow High School Wrestling Boosters Club reported that they suspected Willette had stolen the money, according to Winslow Police Chief Jeff Fenlason.

Lawmakers work to expand prison’s mental health unit

Maine lawmakers are setting the stage for an expansion of a mental health unit at the Maine State Prison.

A committee that will oversee the newly expanded mental health wing in Warren met for the first time Tuesday. The unit is set to open in February.

Gov. Paul LePage signed a bill to expand the unit in September in response to concerns raised over a possible loss of funding at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta. LePage said violent patients could be sent from Riverview to the prison to protect the psychiatric hospital’s patients and staff.

Despite the new law, federal regulators cut $20 million in federal funding from Riverview in October, citing a failure to comply with regulations. The state’s health department is appealing the decision and reapplying for funding.

WINDHAM

Police seek Jeep Wrangler driver in hit-and-run

Windham police said Tuesday that they are continuing to investigate a hit-and-run accident that injured a father and his teenage son last weekend.

Sgt. Jason Andrews said the driver of a red 1988 Jeep Wrangler has not been located. The driver of the Jeep, described only as male and suffering from some type of head injury, fled on foot.

Police said the Jeep Wrangler crashed into a Honda Accord operated by 41-year-old Scott Kimball of Windham at the intersection of Routes 302 and 115 in Windham around 11:15 p.m. Saturday.

Kimball and his son were transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Anyone with information concerning the crash is urged to contact Officer Seth Fournier at 892-2525.

PORTLAND

Maine man pleads guilty to stealing classic muscle car

A Maine man has pleaded guilty to stealing a classic muscle car in April and driving it to Missouri.

Federal prosecutors say 63-year-old Ronald Fuller of Boothbay Harbor stole the 1971 Chevrolet Malibu convertible in Woolwich in April and drove to Farmington, Mo., where he was arrested by local authorities.

When he was arrested camping in the woods, the car was nearby and contained about $8,300 in cash and a large amount of gold and silver jewelry.

Fuller was a suspect at the time in several burglaries in Maine. Fuller waived indictment in U.S. District Court in Portland last week and pleaded guilty to interstate transportation of a stolen vehicle.

He faces a maximum of 10 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for February.

WATERVILLEPolice look for woman who allegedly stole groceries

Police in Waterville are looking for a woman they say ignored employees trying to stop her and walked out of a supermarket with about $200 worth of food. Sgt. Brian Gardiner said the woman pushed the laden grocery cart out of the Hannaford store at about 4:15 p.m. Monday. He said workers tried to stop her but she refused, got in a car and drove away.

Gardiner said employees got the vehicle’s license plate number and gave investigators a good description of the woman.

HOULTON

Lack of remains at issue in trial for 1998 murder

A prosecutor told jurors Tuesday that a 76-year-old pawn shop owner killed his girlfriend in a drunken rage 15 years ago, but a defense attorney questioned whether anything can be proven since her remains were never found.

George Jaime Sr., of Presque Isle, stabbed Starlett “Star” Vining and beat her with the knife handle in 1998, according to an account that Jaime’s son provided to detectives last year, Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said.

Defense attorney Jeff Silverstein, meanwhile, told jurors that without a body there’s no proof of injuries or that Jaime was responsible.

Jaime has been held without bail since his arrest in July 2012 at The Star City Trading Post, the pawn shop he operated on Presque Isle’s Main Street.

WAGM-TV said Benson described for jurors “an extremely sad” story in which Vining and Jaime were in a toxic relationship that ended in a violent confrontation.